- Ohm Youngmisuk, ESPN Staff Writer
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Eli Manning kind of figured it would happen sooner or later.
The Giants' franchise quarterback knew the team could draft a young quarterback prospect to learn behind him. So when the Giants traded up to grab Syracuse's Ryan Nassib, Manning felt it was good to finally have a highly regarded rookie in the quarterbacks room moving forward.
"I called Ryan yesterday and talked to him a little bit and welcomed him to the team," Manning said, according to Newsday, at a March of Dimes March for Babies event. "You always look forward to having young guys on the team, a young quarterback who will be in the meeting room. I'm looking forward to working with him. I'm sure I'll help him a little bit and I'll look forward to having him help me in ways also."
Manning has pretty much always had a veteran backup behind him and currently has David Carr as his backup. Manning says having a young backup won't be a different dynamic for him.
"I don't think so," Manning said. "The quarterbacks, you're trying to help out each other. David's been there. We've had a bunch of quarterbacks over the years and you try to make each other improve. I'm always competing, trying to do the best I can do each year. I'll help Ryan in any way I can, try to get him up to speed in what's going in, and I'll ask him for help also breaking down film once everything gets started. Looking forward to that relationship."
"I thought it was good," Manning said. "I thought we hit some areas that were needed. A quarterback always likes it when offensive linemen are drafted. You can never have too many qualified offensive linemen on the team. I thought we hit a lot 'if' areas and it put us in good position to have a strong year."
And the Giants went out and did something they haven't done since 2009 -- draft a rookie quarterback to groom behind Manning. Jerry Reese admitted he would be happy if Nassib never plays because that means Manning is still healthy and going strong.
Manning, 32, said drafting Nassib didn't make him think of when his career might end.
"I feel like I'm playing at a high level. This is the prime of my career," Manning said. "I understand that one day it will end. And the thing about it in this league is you never know when that day will come. You never know what's going to happen, so you gotta take advantage of it and work hard to make sure that every year that you play, you do everything you can to win another championship."
Tom Coughlin said he would tell Manning just that about the drafting of Nassib: Continue to lead the Giants to a championship and help teach Nassib.
Manning will try to do just that. And now he has a prized rookie to do his bidding in the quarterbacks room as well.
"It will be unique, we haven't had a drafted quarterback [in a while]," Manning said. "We've had some rookies over the years, but a [highly] drafted guy, this will be the first time. There'll be the usual small -- not hazing, that's too strong of a word, but some rookie earning your role as a drafted quarterback in the NFL."
1dBy Dan Graziano